Board of Supervisors - March 10, 2005 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in regular session on Thursday, March 10, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse.  The following were present:

Honorable Fred A. Luntsford - Chairman

Honorable Ronnie Shortt - Vice-Chairman

Honorable Robert R. Adkins

Honorable Steve Bates

Honorable Virginia Meador

Honorable John Peace

Honorable Leland Branham

Honorable Robert Robbins - members of said Board and

Glen A. Skinner - County Administrator

Shannon C. Scott - Assistant County Administrator

Karen T. Mullins - County Attorney

Annette Underwood - Executive Secretary

 

PRAYER

Bob Adkins led the Board in prayer.

 

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

 

IN RE:  CARL DESKINS - PLAQUE OF APPRECIATION

Cathy Dotson, representing the Lonesome Pine Office on Youth, stated that their organization is working with the Lonesome Pine Regional Library and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.  The Dolly Parton Imagination Library provides age appropriate books to children from birth to age 5 regardless of income.  The Lonesome Pine Office on Youth is working with Wise County and the City of Norton to raise funds so that no child is left out.  The cost per child is $27.00 per year with no cost to the parent. These costs are covered by donations and different means of fund raising.  Ms. Dotson asked for a donation from the Board to assist in this worthwhile endeavor.

Ms. Dotson, on behalf of the Lonesome Pine Office on Youth, presented to Carl Deskins, a plaque of appreciation for his twenty-five (25) years of services to the Lonesome Pine Office on Youth and the citizens of Wise County.

Mr. Deskins thanked the Board for supporting the Lonesome Pine Office on Youth and the work that is being done to help Wise County's youth.

 

MINUTES

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Leland Branham, to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE:  APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Supervisor Shortt offered a resolution to be added to the agenda for Board approval.  He asked for a point of personal privilege to read the resolution as it is being presented.  He proceeded to read the proposed resolution.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to add the resolution to the agenda.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE:  RESOLUTION-OPPOSING SCHOOL CLOSURES & DO STUDY LONG-TERM COSTS AND ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Leland, to accept the resolution as read, which directed the County Administrator to commence review of the long-term capital needs of the school system, bonding capabilities and requirements with an eye to various alternative solutions to school closings. 

Aye-     Steve Bates                  Nay-Bob Adkins

            Virginia Meador

            John Peace

            Ronnie Shortt

            Fred Luntsford

            Leland Branham

            Robby Robbins

RESOLUTION #  5-2005

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator's Office)

 

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING / SALE OF PROPERTY IN STEVENS

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens' comments regarding the proposed sale of County property located in the Glamorgan area at 6600 Kemper Road, adjacent to the Stephens Church of God property.

Edgar Mullins opposed the selling of the property for many reasons.  One stipulation in the deed stated that the property would revert back to the original owner if the County no longer had use for the property.

Mr. Mullins also opposed the Lake Street by-pass that has been proposed.  A better route would be off the Ramsey Road off 58.

Cliff Bowman, Pastor of the Stephens Church of God, thanked the Board for its efforts in helping the church in its recent request for additional property to build a new church or expand the existing one. It has been realized that there is a sewer issue in the community and this would also be a problem for the church if it expands.  However, this issue is being looked into for a possible solution. 

Walter Crouse asked that a complete assessment be done on the water drainage, and septic system prior to the property being sold since there is already existing sewer problems in that area.

Randal Fields, a disabled resident of the Stephen's area, called the office with verbal support of the proposed expansion/construction of the Stephen's Church of God.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.

 

IN RE:  PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Elmer Phillips spoke briefly about taxes and minimum wage.

Edgar Mullins spoke regarding a bill that has been introduced to raise minimum wage to $7.25 per hour.  He said he supported this bill to help those on the low-income working level. He also thanked the Board for adopting the resolution on doing a study on long-term costs and alternative options on the schools.  Mr. Mullins voiced his opposition on closing any schools. 

Charlene Greene, a resident living on the Old Indian Creek Road, addressed the Board regarding the noise from the trucks traveling the 4-lane above her home.  She asked that a noise barrier be placed from the top of the hill at the Mullins Apple House to the traffic light and the speed limit be reduced to 35 mph.

Hugh O'Donnell stated that the resolution adopted by the Board was not brave enough and did not reference the number of teachers that would be losing their jobs.  He voiced his opposition to the consolidation of schools in the manner in which it was made public.  He noted the effect it will have on the students as well as the loss of teaching positions.

Craig Short stated that smaller classes made better students.  Even though the teachers are underpaid they still buy supplies for their classrooms because the schools do not provide enough supplies for all students. In his opinion, the money spent for the school survey should have gone to put school supplies in the classrooms.

Barry Nelson applauded the Board for its resolution for a long-term study of the school alternatives opposed to consolidation.  He noted that the CIP plan, if adopted as is, would be a vote for consolidation.  He asked that the people be involved to help make the decision on what's best for our County.

Larry Bush thanked the Board for adopting the resolution calling for further study of the schools and for possible alternatives to consolidation.  It seems as though Dr. Basham and others have lost sight of the kids and their best interest.  However, the kids deserve the best and the best come from the smaller school where there is more time per student.  He voiced his opposition to school consolidation.

Mr. Bush asked for Board assistance in getting the coal companies to abide with the law regarding bad air, dust and mud on the highway between Norton and Appalachia.  He spoke of the dangerous situations that he has encountered on the highway himself.

Jim Scalf praised the Board for taking a step toward stopping the consolidation of schools at this time and for the steps that have been taken to relieve Superintendent Basham of his duties.  He commented that the people were upset because they have been told for three (3) years that consolidation was not being considered.

Larry Baker voiced his opposition to the proposed Lake Street by-pass.  He said the U.S. 58 connector was a better route.

Walter Crouse thanked the Board for adopting the resolution to study the school situation.  He stated that laying the teachers off was not the answer.  The school administrative staff with the big salaries need to be cut; not the teachers.  He said regionalization of the school districts of Southwest Virginia need to be studied as an alternative.

Mr. Crouse opposed the Lake Street by-pass since there would be a great loss of tax base and the displacement of families.  He asked that the U.S. 58 by-pass be considered instead.

Marlene Bush voiced her opposition to school consolidation and the hiring of Dr. Basham as School Superintendent when Wise County has qualified people to fill that position.  She commented that there should be no charge to out-of-county students being bused to Wise County schools.  She said the School Board could save money if the County would quit giving, and the "fat cats" in the Central Office were cut off.

Angela Honeycutt stated that the teachers need more respect as to the importance of their jobs.  The way this proposed consolidation has been handled is turning school against school and County against County.  It is not the answer.  This in itself will keep industry from coming into our area when there is turmoil in the schools. To get our schools up to par may call for a tax increase but the people are willing to do that.

Ms. Honeycutt also voiced her concern with the hazardous problems that are being created by the coal trucks on the old Appalachia-Norton Road.  She asked for Board assistance in getting this problem corrected.

Ms. Honeycutt stated that two (2) districts vote at the J. W. Adams Combined School in Pound, which causes mass confusion.  She asked that the two districts be separated in some fashion.

Monty Salyer, a resident of the St. Paul area, voiced his appreciation for the adoption of the resolution but stated that the school issue is being handled in the wrong way.

Mark Hutchinson, District One School Board member, thanked the Board for its efforts in stopping the proposed school consolidation for further study.  He voiced his concern for the children and the effect consolidation would have on them.

Ronald Mullins, a resident of the Pound area, opposed consolidation but was for remodeling the schools.  He asked that Dr. Basham be terminated from his duties and that the kids be taken into consideration when making a decision about the schools.

There being no further comments, the public expression period ended.

    

IN RE:  ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

T. G. Branson, Highway Resident Engineer, introduced Jackie Christian, the new Assistant Resident Engineer, who will be working in the Wise VDOT office.

Mr. Branson gave an update on projects ongoing throughout the County.

Board members commented on needs in their districts.

 

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the consent agenda as follows:

 

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARINGS

Set public hearing (6:00 p.m. April 7) on a proposed amendment to Wise County Zoning Ordinance #2-1991

Set public hearing (6:00 p.m. April 7) on 53 additional E-911 road names

Set public hearing (6:00 p.m. April 7) on a proposed ordinance for civil enforcement of Litter Ordinance

Set public hearing (6:00 p.m. April 7) on a proposed amendment to Zoning Ordinance #2-1991 -Business Technology District

 

IN RE:  RESOLUTION

Approved the resolution supporting the Congressional earmark for the UVA-Wise computer science/software engineering curriculum development.

RESOLUTION # 6-2005

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator's Office)

 

IN RE:  E-911 ROAD NAMES

Approved Thirty-eight (38) additional E-911 road names.

 

IN RE:  ST. PAUL BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT

Approved the Boundary Line Adjustment Agreement between the County of Wise and the Town of St. Paul.

 

IN RE:  INSURANCE PREMIUM

Approved the 2006 health insurance premium

 

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENTS

No. 21:  Transfer from fund balance $10,737.64 and transfer to Emergency Services Grant expense $10,737.64

No. 22:  Increase revenues from insurance recovery $8,925.00 and increase Sheriff-Law Enforcement budget-vehicle and powered equipment supplies $8,925.00

No. 23:  Decrease General Fund budget Sheriff-courthouse security salaries and wages overtime $15,000 - increase courthouse security fund $15,000

No. 24:  Increase revenues from CERT Grant $6,900 and increase Emergency Services budget- grant expenses $6,900

No. 25:  Transfer from fund balance $2,079.83 to Treasurer's Office Machinery & Equipment $2,079.83

No. 26:  Increase revenue from funds received from the State of Virginia $44,800.00.  Add to Social Services Budget - Contribution to local welfare $44,800.00

No. 27:  Increase revenue $335.00 -DMV STOP Grant - Increase Treasurer's Budget - Salaries and wages Part-time $335.00

 

IN RE:  TRANSFER FROM RESERVE FOR EMERGENCY/CONTINGENCY

(1)  $11,800.00 remodeling Health Department Basement

(2)  $12,800.00 pulling cat 6 wire for Health Department phone system

The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE: RESOLUTION / GUEST RIVER IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

A motion was made by Leland Branham, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the resolution of support for the Guest River Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation Plan.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION # 7-2005

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator's Office)

 

IN RE:  PRO-ART FUNDING

A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by John Peace, to approve the request from Pro-Art in the amount of $10,000 for FY 2005-2006.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE:  CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PLAN

A public hearing was held on March 3 to receive citizens' input regarding the proposed Wise County Capital Improvements Plan for FY 2006-2010.  There was no opposition to the proposed plan.

A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to table this item until the School Board reviews the plan.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE:  TRAIL EASEMENT / GUEST RIVER GORGE TO ST. PAUL

A few years ago the County accepted deeds of easement to route a biking trail from Guest River Gorge to St. Paul.  Part of the trail has been tied up in litigation but remains open to the public.  A new deed has been submitted to re-route a section of that trail to provide a more user-friendly route.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to authorize the Chairman to sign the Trail Easement for a biking trail from Guest River Gorge to St. Paul.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE:  DERBY / PROGRAMMATIC AGREEMENT

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by John Peace, to authorize the County Administrator to sign the Programmatic Agreement for the Derby Revitalization Project.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE:  RESOLUTION / TAX RATES

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by John Peace, to adopt the resolution setting the real and personal property tax rates for FY 2005-2006.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION # 8-2005

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator's Office)

 

IN RE:  RESOLUTION / PRIVATE FORENSIC LAB/ BUCHANAN COUNTY

Attorney Mullins noted that she had spoken to Buchanan's Attorney Kilgore and Buchanan County is only asking for the Board's support of their initiative for this project.  Therefore, the word "utilize" has been deleted from the resolution.

A motion was made by John Peace, seconded by Steve Bates, to adopt the resolution supporting the location of a private Forensic Lab in Buchanan County.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION # 9-2005

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator's Office)

 

IN RE:  RESOLUTION /BEACON LIFE AMBULANCE SERVICE

A motion was made by Leland Branham, seconded by John Peace, to adopt the resolution whereby the Board grants approval to volunteer rescue squads, emergency medical service organizations, and firefighting organizations, subject to their compliance with regulations of the Office of Emergency Medical Services of Virginia.

RESOLUTION # 10-2005

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator's Office)

 

IN RE:  RESOLUTION /SOUTHERN NEIGHBORHOOD CDBG REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

A motion was made by John Peace, seconded by Virginia Meador, to approve the resolution in support of the Southern Neighborhood CDBG Redevelopment Project Phase 1.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION # 11-2005

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator's Office)

 

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT / CHIEF LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIAL (CLEO) BOARD

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by John Peace, to appoint Chairman Luntsford to represent the County on the CLEO Board.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

IN RE:  COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT

Administrator Skinner reported that he has spoken with Evan Andrews with Joyce Engineering and plans and specifications for the proposed transfer station is forthcoming next week for the Board's review.  

A meeting is being set up with Washington County to view their transfer station for a better understanding as to the size that is needed for Wise County.

 

BOARD COMMENTS

There were few comments from Board members.

 

ADJOURN

There being no further business, a motion was made by John Peace, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

ATTEST                                  WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

___________________       _______________________________

Glen A. Skinner, Clerk            Fred A. Luntsford, Chairman

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